Fashion Through the Ages


Kennedy 1983 Yearbook

Kennedy student answers the phone at St. Luke’s Hospital in the 80s.

Kennedy’s halls have seen 55 years of fashion and it has changed quite a bit since the 60s. Recently, we’ve seen a resurgence in classic styles that our very own teachers grew up with.

Staple pieces from the first few years after Kennedy’s establishment were more business-casual than what students wear nowadays. Women sported pantsuits, sweaters, plaid dresses or bell-bottom jeans paired with turtlenecks. If you look around the halls of Kennedy today you can find a few of those pieces with a trendy and modern twist. Tennis skirts are back in fashion, turtlenecks under sweatshirts or graphic t-shirts. Plaid is back, seen on all sorts of clothing from flannels to pants.

In the past, men would typically wear jeans and a T-shirt or button-down. Hawaiian shirts were big during the disco era as were brightly colored suits. Today, striped polos remain a classy way to dress up jeans. While you can no longer find bandanas tied around your average Joe’s neck, you still see more than enough denim when observing Kennedy’s student body.

History teacher Joseph Benedict describes his standard school outfit in the 70s.

“Jeans and a basic T-shirt. That’s one trend that’s stuck around although the knit shirt and button-down probably looked a bit nicer,” said Benedict.

Just by walking Kennedy’s hallways, you can see many current trends being shown off. Although we’re seeing older fashion make a comeback, students are now more likely to dress in casual clothes. Sweatpants and shorts can be seen on teens everywhere and many people would never dream of wearing a dress to school.

“T-shirts have always been around but the bigger things like floral print were left behind or made a comeback years later,” said Benedict.

A group of Kennedy students in the 70s pose for a photo. (Kennedy 1976 Yearbook)

Things like groutfits have become more normalized in today’s society. These trends push away the need for nice school outfits. As more people learn to be comfortable with themselves, you see more gender-neutral fashion. People now feel like they have less to prove.

Many of these resurgences can be seen outside of the school hallways. Take bell bottoms for example, you wouldn’t expect to find any in the halls of Kennedy but many popular companies have brought similar styles back to their shelves. Entering any clothing retail store, you’ll see flare jeans, a smaller type of bell bottoms, on display right at the front of the store.

Clothing isn’t the only thing that’s changed in Kennedy students’ looks. Accessories have come and gone and come again.

“With the evolution of people comes the evolution of accessories,” junior Lilly Marchbanks said.

Around the time of Kennedy’s opening, chunky necklaces and earrings were a staple in the average teen’s wardrobe. We’ve seen a return in the form of large, colorful rings often homemade from clay. Homemade accessories were also big in the 60s and 70s. Tinted rhinestone glasses were all the rage. People also used to make their own tie-dyed clothing and bandanas. Today we see bandannas and headscarves making a comeback with bright, fun patterns.

Fashion was an art mastered by Kennedy’s students back in the day, so why do we no longer see quite the same level of put-togetherness?

“Fashion is just a way to express yourself and people will wear what they are comfortable with,” Marchbanks said. “It changes with the people.”